“A great way to ease into Asian cuisine is with dumplings,” says Danny Lee, co-owner of Mandu. “Everybody loves them.” We couldn’t agree more. Strap on your walking shoes and stretchy pants and head out today on our seven-stop dumpling crawl.
Stop No. 1
Pinch at the FreshFarm Market by the White House, 810 Vermont Ave. NW; Thursdays, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; pinchdumplings.com. (McPherson Sq)
Start your crawl with a lunch of traditional Chinese dumplings ($8.50 for six) in flavors that include pork and cabbage, lamb and carrot, and eggplant.
Stop No. 2
Beau Thai (Shaw Locale), 1700 New Jersey Ave. NW; 202-536-5636, beauthaidc.com. (Shaw-Howard U)
The Thai-style dumplings ($5 for four) are made of a chicken, pork and shrimp mixture partially encased in rice paper. They’re served with a sweet soy sauce.
Stop No. 3
Toki underground, 1234 H St. NE; 202-388-3086, tokiunderground.com.
That was a trek, but it’s worth it for chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s Japanese gyoza (morsels of ground meat wrapped in thin dough). They’re available in beef, pork, chicken, vegetable or seafood ($5 for six).
Stop No. 4
The Source, 575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-637-6100. (Archives)
Executive chef Scott Drewno puts a gourmet spin on his dumplings ($15 for five), which are stuffed with Maryland crab and kurobuta pork before they’re pan-fried and topped with chopped chives and Chinese mustard.
Stop No. 5
Daikaya, 705 Sixth St. NW; 202-589-1600, daikaya.com. (Gallery Place)
You’re so close! Daikaya’s versions of gyoza ($5.75 for five) are stuffed with a pork and cabbage mixture and pan-fried. Tip: They’re available in the downstairs ramen shop, not in the izakaya upstairs.
Stop No. 6
Chinatown Express 746 Sixth St. NW; 202-638-0424, chinatownexpressdc.com. (Gallery Place)
Shanghai-style soup dumplings ($5.95 for eight) are steamed to order. The flour wrappings are filled with pork and a flavorful meat broth. Dip them in the restaurant’s signature ginger sauce.
Stop No. 7
Mandu (K Street Locale), 453 K St. NW; 202-289-6899, mandudc.com. (Mt Vernon Sq)
There’s always room for Mandu’s namesake dish. The Korean dumplings are available steamed or fried in three varieties: shrimp, veggie, and beef and pork ($6 for seven). That’s a wrap!
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